Transfer On Death Vehicle Registration

The biggest reason you don’t want a vehicle to go through probate is because they depreciate over time. The longer the probate process drags on the less the vehicle is worth. A car worth $15,000 this year might be worth $10,000 the next. The sooner your heirs can get the vehicle transferred into their names, the more they will be able to sell it for. It only makes sense to pass your vehicles to your heirs outside of probate.

Transfer on Death Vehicle Registration
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and Vermont currently have Transfer on Death vehicle registration available. In these states, you simply need to complete the Vehicle Beneficiary Form Registration Certificate and your vehicle will automatically transfer to your beneficiary or beneficiaries when you die.

Revoking a Transfer on Death Vehicle Registration
The good thing about a Transfer on Death vehicle registration is you can change your mind and re-title the vehicle at any time. This is similar to transfer on death real estate deeds. You can revoke a beneficiary designation by either: (a) selling the vehicle which terminates the beneficiary designation; or (b) re-registering the vehicle and naming a new beneficiary or no beneficiary at all.

IMPORTANT: Naming a different beneficiary for the vehicle in your will does not change the beneficiary named in the vehicle registration. The vehicle registration will take precedence.

Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship
As with the Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship for Real Estate, titling your car with the Right of Survivorship designation allows the surviving owner (usually a spouse) to inherit the vehicle upon the death of the other owner. Some states have official forms for Right of Survivorship while others require you to write it into the vehicle registration document. Title to the vehicle can be cleared by providing a death certificate to the DMV and completing a new title registration.
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